Have you visited a web address that you know to be legitimate or clicked on something on a legitimate website, only to either be redirected to a website or have a new tab open to a website claiming your computer has been hacked, has viruses, etc.?
If you have, then your computer has just visited a hacked/malicious website.
Did you know that by simply visiting a malicious website, your computer’s web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox) has just executed malicious code, causing a security breach?
Is this scary warning prompting you to call a toll free number, so that a “Microsoft Certified Technician/Engineer” can help you?
Did you call the number and allow the hacker remote access to your computer?
If you did, then you have been hacked into. They no doubt dropped a back door into your computer, to ensure they can access your system whenever they want, can launch malicious scripts on your system, steal information/credentials, etc.
So what do you do?
1. Do not call the number, if you haven’t already done so.
2. Call the help desk of your IT company that maintains your network/computers.
3. Be prepared to execute a contingency plan to re-secure your computer(s) and network.
Did you know that a compromised system can be sold on the black market to some very scary folks, that mean to use these systems in a Bot Net attack?
Want to know what a Bot Net attack is? Read about it here: https://usa.kaspersky.com/internet-security-center/threats/botnet-attacks#.V7xwcDWfjSs
Small business owners operate under the mindset that hackers are not interested in hacking them, because they are small; when the facts and data tell a much different story.
Everyone, every computer, every network is a target now to hackers. Folks, hiding from this problem is not going to make it go away or lesson your exposure. In fact, you are increasing your exposure by ignoring this very serious and real problem.
I strongly urge you to take the following steps immediately, to prevent yourself from having issues:
- Purchase and maintain the following yourself:
- Purchase an annual license or perpetual license to either Vipre Anti-Virus, ESET Anti-Virus, or Sophos Anti-Virus.
- Purchase an annual license of MalwareBytes Professional.
- Configure both of the above to run regular scans. I recommend daily full scans at a time when you are not using your computer each day.
- Install Windows/Mac Updates weekly, keeping your system secure and operating properly.
- Keep Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, and Java up to date at all times.
- Ensure your backups are running daily, as scheduled without incident.
If you are like most successful business owners, you don’t have time to do all these things weekly and consistently, then consider hiring an IT company that services and maintains your network with a Monthly, Security Based Maintenance Agreement. Ensure that the company you choose to hire, does all of the above as a bare minimum and looses when you have issues. Avoid the IT companies that want you to either be in pain or benefit from you being in pain. Seek out the IT companies that desire a mutually beneficial business relationship, where pain and pleasure are felt by both parties simultaneously.
In closing, remember these 4 main points:
- Maintain your technology weekly.
- Remember that consistency is the key to having a secure network.
- Educate yourself.
- Stop and Think before you click or call that toll free number.
We all have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure we are taking reasonable measures to protect the information that people are entrusting to us. Our firm is dedicated and has specialized in providing Small Businesses with Secure, Reliable, Responsive Networks; which results in our clients having Peace of Mind and a Competitive Advantage over their competition.
Call Us Today at (678) 606-0018 for a Comprehensive Network Audit and let us show you where all of the security holes are in your network, present you with a detailed plan to seal them up, and detailed costs. Together, we will eat that big, scary elephant one bite at a time!